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Medieval life and Times

Definition and Description of the Tuba
Definition and description of the Tuba: The Tuba can be described as an ancient trumpet, the lowest brass woodwind instrument. During the middle ages the tuba was as great a favourite as the Trumpet, from which it may readily be distinguished by its marked conical bore and absence of bell. It is recorded that King Frederick Barbarossa gave an order on the 14th of January 1240 in Arezzo for four tubas of silver and for slaves to be taught to play upon them.

Family of Instruments: The Tuba belongs to the family of Woodwind instruments.

History of the Tuba
The modern tuba finds its prototype and the origin of its name in the Roman tuba (the Greek salpinx) The tuba is represented, together with the buccina and cornu, on Trajan's column in the scenes described by Vegetius who wrote the following:

"Compared with the other military service instruments of the Romans, the buccina and cornu, the tuba was straight and was used to sound the charge and retreat, and to encourage and lead the soldiers during action; it was sounded at the changing of the guard, as the signal to begin and leave off work."

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